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These Pork-Fueled Dishes Dominated at Hogs for the Cause

Bacon cotton candy, Cuban croquetas, heart attack bacon, and more

Bacon cotton candy from Hog Dat Nation (who won the sauce category)
FACEBOOK/Hog Dat Nation

Hogs for the Cause, the annual three-day barbecue competition that raises money for families of kids with pediatric brain cancer, wrapped up its tenth year with $1.45 million in the bank for cause, and a new crop of Hogs champions.

The names of the winning teams were announced a couple days ago, but what were the dishes that stunned at Hogs?

Here, now, the winners and what they cooked (when Eater could get it).

The High on the Hog grand champ was Swine Krewe, who also won the category in 2011.

Silence of Da Hams won the whole hog category. This team includes a lot of chefs: Commander’s Palace’s Tory McPhail; Baton Rouge City Pork’s corporate chef, Michael Brewer; Parkway’s Justin Kennedy, Jared Ralls (formerly of La Boca); and Napoleon House’s Chris Montero.

Ribs went to Frey Smoked Meat Co., a barbecue restaurant that started as a Hogs team before becoming a full-fledged restaurant. Hogjammin’ won the pork butt/shoulder category.

Porkpourri, described as the “anything pork” category, gives teams a lot freedom. Swine Krewe rocked this category with a “tarte pigpen,” the team’s take on a traditional apple tarte tatin. Puff pastry, pork belly (dry brined and then placed in a sous vide for 12 hours with ginger, cinnamon, and maple syrup), and apples caramelized in pork fat, butter, and brown sugar that was then topped with pork infused whipped cream, bacon caramel, and lardons on top. Boom.

Hog Dat Nation won sauce, but the team isn’t releasing any details on this one other than it’s “one of Neil McClure’s (McClure’s BBQ) many signature sauces.” While the sauce won, the team was really amped up on social media about its bacon contribution — bacon cotton candy (it did not win).

Piggy Stardust’s hot boudin Benedict
Piggy Stardust

Chew Fork Farms won Blue Plate Mayo “best side” with its Cuban croquetas, a mixture of spiced ground pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, Blue Plate mayo, béchamel, mustard, and jalapeño relish. The team rolled it up into golf-ball sized croquetas, coated them in panko, deep fried them, and served them with a Sriracha-honey-mayo.

Piggy Stardust dominated in the Tabasco “best sandwich” category with a hot boudin Benedict. After making the boudin patties, the team dredged them in a Tabasco Sriracha egg-wash and White Lily flour, then flash fried them, and tossed them in more Tabasco Sriracha. The team topped it with a poached quail egg and Tabasco Sriracha hollandaise, then sandwiched it between a buttered buttermilk cream cheese biscuit. A garnish of City Greens micro greens finished the dish.

The exquisitely named Lard and in Charge team called its winning Nueske’s bacon dish herzinfarkt, which is German for “heart attack.” Descriptions of all bacon dishes were sent to Hogs organizers ahead of time, but Lard in Charge refused to reveal what herzinfarkt was, preferring to head into the competition under a veil of mystery and intrigue. The brainchild of Lead Chef Rob Huntley and Captain Greg Stein, it was a beer-battered, bacon-wrapped, plantain stuffed with cheese and green onion. The dipping sauce was made with Sriracha-flavored Tabasco sauce.

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Hogs For The Cause

City Park, New Orleans, LA